Friday, June 25, 2010

Long Live the (Legacy of) The King!

Photos courtesy of

EMOTIONALLY paralyzed for about an hour when I got the news, more than four hours later. Michael Jackson, the undisputed King of Pop, was dead.

When I was able to pull myself back together I scurried home to pen a tribute:

It’s been a year today. My sadness is still great. One thing, however, that is extremely gratifying - though bittersweet - is that finally MJ is getting the respect he was long due in his birth country. The rest of the world seemed to know what we didn’t - at least what the media didn’t: MJ is the King. Full stop. And the celebrations this week, here and abroad, bare this out.

Open today to the public that wants to pay respects with flowers only is Forest Lawn Cemetery where MJ is buried. The mausoleum, however, is only open to family and designated guests. The Rev. Al Sharpton, along with Brooke Shields, gave the most touching speeches at last year’s televised
memorial at the Staples Center. At 2:26 p.m., the official time of MJ’s death last year, AS and his Harlem-based National Action Network will pay respects with a moment of silence.

Katherine Jackson, the King Mother, has sanctioned the controversial "Forever Michael," a tribute for fans planned for Saturday at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. Tickets cost up to $500. One wonders whether the proceeds will go to MJ’s estate, not that it needs the money. In the year since his death it has brought in around $1 billion from music-related and film/TV projects. Not everyone in the Jackson family supports “Forever Michael.” Ditto for the tribute in Gary, Indiana, the original Jackson family homestead. It’s not at all surprising that some tributes will raise questions of taste or appropriateness, considering the intense interest in anything Michael Jackson.

Indeed, an astounding number of events, including numerous TV specials and commercial ventures, are ongoing around the world. New York, too, is doing its part. A few are capturing the imagination of Yours Truly. The Apollo Theater, the storied venue where MJ and his brothers won amateur night, is attracting huge crowds eager to see a new plaque in his honor in its new hall of fame.

At 5 p.m., Times Square may attract the hordes it does for New Year’s Eve with the "Thriller" reenactment flash mob. Also in the square, Madame Toussauds Wax Museum is paying respects with a window display featuring MJ’s wax figure tricked out in the red “Thriller” jacket and black pants. Fans are encouraged to leave mementos.

More evidence of the connection between wine and song is City Winery’s happy two hours. From 7 to 9, $25 bottles of wines will be up for sale to the beat of 25 of MJ’s classics.

They’re baad! The very gloves MJ wore in the “Bad” video are not in Cleveland. The gloves and other MJ gear is on public view at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Annex.

Very thrilling, all.

Learn about Michael Jackson tributes where you live by Googling “Michael Jackson tributes and Your City” or any similar iterations.

1 comment :

  1. I remember this, the world really seemed to shut down. And rightly so, he was an incredibly iconic figure!


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